Nearly 4.5 million Americans don’t have easy access to affordable, reliable transportation. This reality can be hardest for young people according to a Lyft press release. Now the rideshare company has announced a new partnership with LA Laker, LeBron James to bring a bike share program to New York, the Bay area and Chicago.
Lyft will be collaborating with the YMCA to identify eligible young people in the Y network, provide memberships, and educate around bike safety – with a focus on removing barriers in young peoples’ lives. The new program will start this spring in New York City (Citi Bike®️), then continue throughout the year with tailored programs developed in tandem with local partners in Chicago (Divvy) and the Bay Area (Bay Wheels).
The bikeshare announcement is part of Lyft’s new LyftUp initiative – a comprehensive effort to expand transportation access to those who need it most. Memberships will be distributed in collaboration with the YMCA to eligible 16- to 20-year-olds throughout the year.
“Growing up, a bike changed everything for me. It was more than a way to go see my friends or play basketball – it was a way of life. A bike opened doors, allowed me to get to safe places after school, and gave me access to opportunities I never would have known. I’m proud that Uninterrupted can join Lyft in bringing that access to kids and people in communities across the country,” says James.
A new announcement video has been released with James doing the voiceover. “You might think, it’s just a bike. But for a young person, a bike can open the world. It’s a way — and often, the only way — to get to class, practice, games, lessons, jobs, and more. A bike is freedom. A bike is opportunity. Watch below:
“With LeBron as our inspiration, we want to demonstrate how transportation can be a spark that helps young people reach their full potential. The future of transportation is exciting, and we feel a deep responsibility to help make transportation accessible to all,” says John Zimmer, Lyft co-founder and President.
“The Y is committed to helping young people reach their full potential, and we know that affordable and reliable transportation is a key component. We’re excited to partner with Lyft to provide another way for young people to access new opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive,” says Kevin Washington, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA.
Today’s announcement builds on our successful bikeshare equity programs in every city where Lyft operates. Our existing programs provide discounted membership to better serve low-income residents, and have been developed to meet the unique needs of each city through deep partnerships with city officials, community organizations, and sponsors.